90 percent AFUE gas condensing furnace
90 percent AFUE gas condensing furnace

High-efficiency gas furnace

When it comes to fuel efficiency, experts say nothing beats a gas condensing furnace, which has annual fuel-utilization efficiency (AFUE) of at least 90 percent. Compared with an 80 percent AFUE furnace, a condensing furnace might save you $8 or so for every $100 you spend on heating. Whether this savings is enough to offset the extra up-front cost will depend on factors such as climate, utility rates and the energy efficiency of your home. However, experts say that if you live in an area with harsh winters, such as the Northeast or the Midwest, a condensing furnace will probably pay for itself over time. High-efficiency gas furnaces with an AFUE of 95 percent or more can qualify for a tax credit of up to $150. State governments and utility companies may offer additional rebates.
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*Est. installed cost $3,000 and up Estimated Price
80 percent AFUE gas furnace
80 percent AFUE gas furnace

Budget gas furnace

If you live in a milder climate, experts say you should consider a less efficient (and less expensive) 80 percent AFUE furnace. Although condensing furnaces, which range from 90 to 97 percent AFUE, waste much less heat, experts say an 80 percent AFUE gas furnace is likely to be considerably more efficient than the unit you're replacing. You can save about $1,000 with an 80 percent furnace (possibly more, depending on installation costs), but your monthly energy costs will be higher than with a high-efficiency furnace. The break-even period will depend on your gas rates and how they change over time.
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*Est. installed cost $2,000 and up Estimated Price
90 percent AFUE oil furnace
90 percent AFUE oil furnace

Oil furnace

Although gas furnaces are the most common type, a significant number of homes have oil furnaces, especially in the Northeast, where access to natural gas may be limited. Oil-burning furnaces are less efficient on average than gas furnaces, but they can have AFUEs as high as 95 percent. An oil furnace with an AFUE of 95 percent . As with gas furnaces, an efficient oil furnace will cost more to install but will use less fuel over time. One factor that is different with oil furnaces is CO2 emissions. For example, upgrading from a 56 percent AFUE furnace to a 90 percent AFUE furnace will reduce CO2 emissions by 2.5 tons per year with oil heat, but only 1.5 tons with gas heat. This makes an energy-efficient oil furnace a good choice for those who have oil heat and are concerned about pollution.
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*Est. installed cost $2,000 and up Estimated Price
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